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YMMV / Hard Target

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  • Anvilicious: The whole subplot about the plight of Homeless Veterans isn't exactly subtle, but Some Anvils Need to Be Dropped.
  • Complete Monster:
    • Emil Fouchon is an unfeeling madman who runs a hunting ring that aims to break what he describes as the government's monopoly on murder. Fouchon and Pik Van Cleaf offer homeless veterans thousands of dollars if they can survive being hunted by Fouchon's clients—an offer Fouchon has no intention of fulfilling. When Natasha, the daughter of victim Douglas Binder, along with veteran Chance Boudreaux, look for him, Fouchon has associate Randal Poe beaten and mutilated for selecting a man with a family—only because of the unwanted attention—then chooses Chance's friend Elijah Roper as the next target. When the client proves unwilling to finish Elijah, Fouchon kills the client, then has Van Cleaf gun down Elijah in the street. Fouchon has Van Cleaf kill Po and another man who was helping him. Fouchon decides that Natasha and Chance must die as well, and brings in several clients who owe him favors. When Chance uses a rattlesnake to poison one of these men, Fouchon stomps him to death while ranting about how he should "die quieter". When Chance's uncle sets another of his men on fire, Fouchon kills the man himself. In the climax, Fouchon, with all of his men dead, stabs Chance's uncle with an arrow, takes Natasha hostage, and finally tries to beat Chance to death with a burning two-by-four.
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    • The aforementioned Pik Van Cleaf is Emil Fouchon's top enforcer, and an unrepentant maniac who delights in acts of violence. Responsible for procuring Fouchon's victims, organizing the hunts, and assassinating any threats to their enterprise, Van Cleaf often joins in the hunts himself, committing numerous atrocities with a smile on his face. Introduced pursuing and helping to murder Douglas Binder, Van Cleaf cuts off Randal Poe's ear when he makes the mistake of selecting a man with a family, threatening to "cut a whole steak out of him" if he fails again. Gunning down Elijah Roper, Van Cleaf murders a coroner on Fouchon's payroll, and attacks Randal, joyously breaking the man down into a sniveling wreck before gunning him down. Van Cleaf ambushes Boudreaux and Natasha, killing a cop in the process, before joining Fouchon on the hunt for the duo, intending to murder them both in "one last hunt".
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  • Funny Moments: Emil's very last lines.
    (The grenade's fuse is successfully screwed out, rendering it useless)
    Fouchon: (Begins chuckling)
    (The fuse zaps a tiny spark right into the explosive)
    Fouchon: Woohp.
    (Massive explosion)
  • Harsher in Hindsight: Jean-Claude Van Damme plays a homeless man in this movie. In 2009, he revealed in an interview that he really did live homeless and hungry in the streets of Los Angeles when he was early in his career, which gives a large amount of gravitas to the scene where Chance tells Nat about being homeless that "I've been there. It's hard to ask for help."
  • Hilarious in Hindsight: One of the songs on the soundtrack is called "Streetfighting Van Damme". Keep in mind, this movie came out a year before that one.
  • Moment of Awesome: Fouchon's coat catching fire in the warehouse was unscripted and accidental, but Lance Henriksen managed to get the coat off without suffering any injury, and stayed in character the whole time, giving his character a badass scene.
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  • Narm Charm: Wilford Brimley as Uncle Douvee. Might seem like an example of What The Hell, Casting Agency?? but the man is an absolute hoot to watch.
  • Slow-Paced Beginning: The film starts out So Okay, It's Average, but after the middle part it suddenly turns into a spectacular showcase of gunfire, explosions and roundhouse kicks.
  • What an Idiot!:
    • Under pressure, most people would probably throw away a grenade instead of trying to unscrew it and remove the fuse.
    • Though he has just received a money belt filled with $10,000, the prey in one hunt doesn't consider paying one of the many bystanders for help.
    • The victim in the beginning of the movie might have made it, had he taken the easier route of falling into the water and swimming. In the case of the victims, though, it should be noted that both men by those times were badly injured, scared out of their minds, and not thinking straight.

Hard Target 2

  • Complete Monster: Jonah Aldrich is a former CIA agent turned sociopathic criminal mastermind. Paying off a corrupt general in Myanmar, Aldrich has drove countless people off their land to use the vast jungle as his hunting ground, where he routinely looses condemned prisoners and villagers alike to be hunted by rich clients for sport. Luring MMA fighter Wes Baylor, Aldrich reveals his true colors by ordering a prisoner shot, before having his clients pursue Baylor into the rainforest. Not seeing his customers as any more than a paycheck, Aldrich doesn't bat an eye at their deaths, and goes so far as to beat one up for being "a pussy", and slitting another's throat when he discovers the man has a hidden camera. Aldrich goes on to attempt to behead Baylor's colleague Win with a shovel, execute a random bystander on a bridge, and hold a child at gunpoint to force Baylor to surrender. A man defined by his Lack of Empathy, Jonah Aldrich is completely indifferent to the entire graveyards he's filled in the name of lining his pockets.

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